The Rehabilitation of Spirituality in the Yolo Mentality
Imagine floating in outer space. Nothing to pull you down, nothing to be heard (Berg & Stork., 1990). Being physically detached from earth, surrounded only by the planets and stars presenting themselves in full glory must be a serene experience. This peaceful depiction is sorrowfully in sheer contrast with the harsh reality. If you actually float in outer space (without a spacesuit), the following trajectory of events possibly happens in about 1½ minutes: 1. You will freeze (if in shadow) or burn (if in direct sunlight) 2. Within 20 seconds your internal organs and eardrums will rupture and consciousness will be lost 3. Your heart will fail to pump blood through your body, and you will die (‘’ ways to die in space ‘’ 2014). To avoid these calamities from happening, astronauts depend on the scientific design of spacecrafts, space stations, spacesuits, along with their scientific knowledge to survive and explore the vastness of outer space. The surprising thing is that these people, who depend with their lives on science and their knowledge about it, return after a space expedition significantly more spiritual than before their journey (Gallagher, Janz, Reinerman, Trempler & Bockelman, 2015). How is it possible that one who fully depends on the material world to survive the destructive forces of the universe returns back to earth with a stronger belief in the immaterial world? Moreover, astronauts are not the only ones who become more spiritual, a steady rise in people who are spiritual but not religious (SPNR) is observed in recent years (‘’ more Americans now … ‘’ 2017). How come with our society more advanced than ever, we are starting to go back to an ancient conception of the world? The following observation will be explored with a central question; is the rekindled interest in spirituality a sign of human knowledge in regression or progression?
First of all, the word “spirituality”, though widely used, doesn’t have strict definition of its concept (Dyson, Cobb & Forman, 1997). The Oxford dictionary (2010) defines “spirituality” as: ‘’the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul (immaterial) as opposed to material or physical things’’. This flexibility of the concept along with some of its premises cause it to hold an awkward, if not ambiguous position in the minds of non-spiritual people within society. Statements like “if you become more spiritual you can reach a higher level of consciousness” are quite unfathomable and related concepts to being more spiritual like “ego dissolution” (losing consciousness of the self and boundaries between the self and the outer world disappear; van Elk, 2017 ) go against every fiber of standard conceptions of the self. It’s a lot to take in, so no wonder that there is skepticism about the very idea of spirituality. On top of that, other words to describe this particular domain are even more daunting, like mysticism or contemplative state. How could a non-spiritual person possibly become more spiritual by accepting these rather eccentric views?
Let’s briefly return to the human space explorers. One possible explanation of them becoming more spiritual is possibly related to something called “awe state”. Awe, as defined by Shiota and colleagues (2007), is:’’ a complex emotion that is often elicited in response to natural beauty and art’’. This state of awe possibly is induced by perceiving vast stimuli that doesn’t fit into an individual’s worldly conceptions (Keltner & Haidt, 2003). This experience of awe followed by the change in your worldly view is strongly associated with spiritual feelings (Capellen & Saroglou, 2012) which, in turn, might be at the base of the spiritual awakening of the astronauts. One can likely comprehend the potential of experiencing awe in space, seeing stars and planets in its full glory most certainly are more breathtaking in real life than in pictures. I can understand that after seeing such sights and only being able to speculate about their creation and origin while acknowledging how little we actually do comprehend, a higher power is being called upon to explain the very existence of these celestial bodies. But, in this way, is spirituality a ‘quick fix’ explanation to the unexplainable and thus showing a sign of regression by stagnating our actual understanding of the world and universe?
To offer a potential answer to the subject, one must define what gaining knowledge actually is. Jung (2014) defined the act of “knowing” as: ‘’ the conscious connection between two psychic states’’ and defined gaining knowledge as ‘’ when we succeed in linking a new perception to an already established context in such a way that we hold in consciousness not only the new perception, but the context as well’’. As Jung smartly saw, one needs to take the context into consideration when assimilating new insights. So is it possible that when the astronauts saw these majestic sights in space, the perception of these weren’t able to be assimilated with their old contextual observation of the world? A sheer lack of a domain in their minds to incorporate what they saw perhaps let them create a new domain, spirituality. Spirituality might in this sense be a new contextual domain of human consciousness to assimilate experiences that have an impact on our lives but lack a proper contextual domain of interpretation. If we hold this assumption to be true, then the foreign notion of higher consciousness through spirituality might become a more graspable idea for us. So is higher consciousness something we as individuals and as a society should pursue?
Let’s explore the following proposition by examining consciousness from an evolutionary perspective. Does higher consciousness naturally occur in our species and how does it unfold itself? Consciousness and an increase of consciousness are directly related to awareness of problems (Jung, 2014). A prototypical example of increasing consciousness can be found in a child reaching puberty. The child reaching puberty becomes highly aware of his or her own body, social networks, and their sexuality. This awareness comes along with a significant amount of problems like body image problems, peer pressure, and unfulfilled sexual desires. These issues weren’t consciously present before the child reached a pubescent age and many other examples can be found as a person becomes older. So if gaining consciousness is a naturally occurring phenomenon but simultaneously related to an increased awareness of problems, Why is it there and what function could it have to benefit our survival?
The evolutionary benefit might be found at the root of its curse, causing an increase of problem awareness. Once people become more aware of the issues surrounding their lives, the world, their personality, and its flaws, one can attempt to solve these arisen problems. Awareness of the suffering in parts of Africa directly corresponds with ones potentiality to contribute to solving the problem. One’s awareness of personality problems like a personality disorder can seek help to solve the issues related to it. As you can see, an increase in awareness enables the individual to resolve the issues presented. In this light the phrase ‘’ignorance is bliss’’ makes complete sense. If one is ignorant, one will not be aware of his or her problems. The difficulty if ignorance presents itself latently, is that one does not know but does in the long term suffers from its consequences. Therefore, if raising consciousness is directly related to help eliminate one’s problems, could spirituality partially function as a way for an individual to increase their consciousness and help combat his or her problems?
A possible answer for the above question can be found in research being done in the clinical psychology field. Research in this sector augmented their interest in the use of spirituality in the treatment of various psychological disorders like depression and addiction. One of the results is the in 2014 developed therapy against depression called: mindfulness-based cognitive therapy ( MBCT; Seligman, Reichenberg, Linda & Lourie, 2014). At the foundation of this constructed therapy, a central building block of spirituality called mindfulness can be found. According to the Buddhist teacher Bhikku (1996), mindfulness is a meditative state with the final intention to overcome one’s problems by rising above the egocentric intention and to surrender the I-ness. So far, MBCT as shown promising results as a therapy for people suffering from depression, especially for individuals that had at least three or more episodes of depression (Kuyken et al., 2016). In addition to using a spiritual element to treat psychological disorders, spiritual experiences on themselves also possess a prospective function for individuals to overcome their problems. In research about addiction treatment (Johnson, Garcia-Romeu, Cosimano & Griffiths, 2014), the hallucinogen psilocybin was used to induce spiritual-like experiences to individuals addicted to smoking. The motive behind evoking a spiritual-like experience through hallucinogens was that increased spirituality is related to improved drug dependence recovery (Piedmont, 2004). After the smoke addicts were exposed to psilocybin, 80% of them remained abstinent six months after the experiment and a significant increase in spirituality was observed in the participants. The results of abstinence after treatment are astonishingly higher compared to behavioral and pharmaceutical interventions (typically around 35%) and the majority of them called their psilocybin provoked experience one of the most spiritual, impacting events in their lives. Thus, spirituality might function as a higher order domain of an individual to combat his or her problems in life.
It is difficult to arrive at any conclusions with regard to spirituality, therefore I would like to return again to our central question: “Is the rekindled interest in spirituality a sign of human knowledge in regression or progression?” If we assume the Jungian idea about knowledge to be true, then spirituality and growth in it do indeed propel us to expand our knowledge. But as explained, progressing one’s knowledge doesn’t come without a cost. Our increased consciousness exposes us to a wider range of problems, some of which we didn’t know before and some of which complicate, even more, our life and the way we live it. Spirituality might be one of those domains. Questions like higher consciousness and ego dissolution have certainly caused some profound self reflection and thought. Issues like ‘’ if I’m not my body, who am I?’’ and ‘’ If the I doesn’t exist, what is existing itself?’’ have left me contemplating into a figurative abyss. So I do not recommend starting a spiritual inner dialogue journey if you don’t want your most basic conceptions about life and identity to be challenged. But if your aim is to expand your horizon, taking part in the dialogue really does feel like you’re reaching a ‘higher consciousness’. If spirituality can provide results in problematic issues like addiction recovery overwhelmingly higher than the more materialistic approaches, one must accept the sway that the immaterial can have on us as humans. Thus, knowing more about the immaterial, certainly does progress human knowledge. It is up to each one of us to decide to which extent.
Carl G. Jung and Stages of Life
Carl Gustav Jung is a Swiss psychologist, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and one of the most significant thinkers of the 20th century. In his life’s work, Jung laid the groundwork for a new understanding of the human being and his psyche, an understanding that extends beyond the confines of psychiatry and psychology. His findings have inspired thinkers and researchers of various fields, contributing to the overall progress of scientific thought. Jung spends his entire life rethinking, seeking connections between psychology, philosophy, religion, alchemy, dreams, archetypes and symbols, and deepening the path to his own individuation – one of the key concepts of Jung’s entire psychology. Individuation is the process of growth and development of personality through numerous experiences and dramas of life to the realization of maturity and completeness.
Body and appearance are then the key epithets of our personality. This has nothing to do with the usual ‘sport’ phase but with arrogance and vanity. Jung believed that ego was structured or shaped in childhood. The role of parents is to teach the child: the mother is in charge of eros (adaptation and attachment), while the father’s role is to help the child adapt to the outside world (rationality and the principle of reality). The child adopts certain symbols, starts playing (becoming aware of the rules) and fantasizing. This period is best understood by referring to the metaphor of the rising, early morning sun.
Having understood ourselves as a strong character hidden in the physical body – now we are comparing ourselves, we want to surpass the other, we want to overcome the surroundings and do the best we can as warriors. During adolescence and early adulthood, a person undergoes certain forms of initiation into the world of mature people, and from a state of dependence on one’s family to a state of independence, independent exploration and the ordeal of life. The individual begins to build his own world of principles, rules, moving away from the traditional values and cultural heritage that are part of his collective unconscious. This period is like the morning sun.
We have come to a time where we feel we have not done enough to feel fulfilled and happy, and we have finally realized that life is far more than material. This is the period of middle adulthood (35-40 years). One becomes prone to self-reflection and conscious choice between different alternatives to continuing life. Here he faces successes, failures, breaking up old ones and starting new friendships and romantic relationships. One is facing a crisis from which isolation, stagnation and a sense of hopelessness can be born, as well as insight into one’s ‘path’. Each of us has a unique life trajectory that needs to be discovered, found, and addressed so that the process of individuation can proceed smoothly and authentically. This is a turning point in human development, which can be described by the sun at its zenith, which is slowly setting.
The last phase of our lives is one in which we realize that none of the previous three stages have any connection with who we really are. We have become mere observers of our lives. During this period of mature, late adulthood, that is, old age and wisdom, one should prepare for accepting one’s own mortality. A sufficiently wise and ” rounded ” person will not complain about the injustice of life, or about the kind of deprivation she has experienced before. She will not allow different situations to disturb her inner peace and stability, but will accept them as something transient. This developmental period is, metaphorically speaking, a sunset period.
Today, there are different views on Jung’s contribution in explaining the essential psychic processes of man. Materialist-oriented scholars dispute his approach, while those with a more open mind still find inspiration. One of the ancient images that exists in everyday life, and at the same time can serve as a symbol, is the sun. Jung compares man to the sun. In the morning it is born from the night (from the sea of the unconscious) and gradually rises (broadens its influence, progresses) so that at midday it reaches a point of culmination after which it begins to decline. The sun then seems to collect its rays that have previously radiated, and the light and heat diminish until it is finally extinguished.
Jung’s Theories and Tibetan Singing Bowls
Eastern and Western medicine have been trying to achieve wholistic health through different means for over a hundred years. As time moves forward, the West is accepting Eastern practice more and more but is still hesitant to trust its validity without hard proof. Jung’s theories contrasted with Tibetan singing bowls and how each function, searches out healing on the patient’s behalf, and how valid Jungian theory is in the 21st century will be explored.
Carl Jung and His Theories
Carl Gustav Jung is one of the fathers of modern psychology and was a direct colleague of Sigmund Freud. Jung’s greatest contribution to the psychological field was the Collective Unconscious.
To first understand the purpose of Jungian theory, one must understand the psyche. It is the entire personality of a human being. It encompasses all feelings and behavior as well as the conscious and unconscious mind. It’s a guide that leads one through their social and physical environment. (Hall & Nordby, 1973). Jung broke the consciousness down into four mental functions called thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting. Two attitudes orient a person’s conscious mind, extroversion (orienting towards the external objective world,) and introversion (orienting to the inner subjective world (1973). But the ego mirrors the psyche to promote awareness. (Stein, 2010, p. 15). Jung views the ego as the gatekeeper to consciousness (Hall & Nordby, 1973). It’s as Jung would say, the ego is “the subject of all personal acts of consciousness.”
Complexes were Jung’s most important early contributions to understanding the unconscious (Stein, 2010). Jung uses the term constellation referring to the culmination of a psychically charged moment regarding complexes. A complex is a triggering of our psychological history. A strong ego may be able to control the energy within the complex well causing less of an emotional outburst due to the complex (2010).
But how are complexes formed? Typically, they are formed through trauma, but complexes are like a script that pops up in that a person may or may not be aware of. When a complex arises, the individual is playing to the complex like an actor in a play. Building awareness around these complexes is a step in moving towards making the unconscious mind a conscious one.
Building on the idea of the conscious and unconscious mind, Jung’s main original idea was the Collective Unconscious. The collective unconscious is the idea that there is a storage of images, almost like a historical imprint of archetypal nature. Jung is not saying that an individual will inherit the same images that their ancestors possessed, but that they are predisposed or will potentially experience/respond in the same way that their ancestors did. (2010) It’s a way of saying, “history repeats itself.” It repeats itself in the way of archetypes.
Archetypes are pieces of the collective unconscious. They are universal images that everyone inherits and their combinations form a certain type of person. Jung’s main four archetypes are the shadow, the persona, the self, and the anima/animus. The shadow is part of the ego that is not integrated but is suppressed because of cognitive or emotional dissonance. (2010) According to Stein, the ego isn’t even aware that it has a shadow; it operates in the unconscious. (2010) The persona is which mask a person chooses to show to the outside world while the self is a union of the conscious and unconscious realms. It is the central archetype of the psyche. The anima is the feminine aspect of a male and the animus is the masculine side of a female.
But how did Jung’s theory work? Jung’s clinical work takes place in four stages, confession, elucidation, education, and transformation (Corsini & Wedding 2010). Confession allows the clients to recount their history, revealing both conscious and unconscious secretive information. Emotions can be released during this process while the client can experience being received with acceptance by the therapist. (2010) In this period, the therapist makes the client aware of transference in addition to dreams and fantasies and how they tie to childhood origins. Michael St. Clair defines transference as “assigning feelings from a past relationship to a present relationship to a therapist,” (2004). Education deals with the ego and persona. The client’s insight is turned into action (Corsini & Wedding 2010). Transformation is the final phase that Jung also called self-actualization. The Self archetype shows up during this phase. The client becomes a unique individual while still maintaining a mentality of responsible integrity (2010). Jung says that each stage could be an end in and of itself, but completion of all four stages are required in total analysis. But it is also important to note that none of these stages’ order or timeframe is set in stone.
What types of therapy did he use? Being a psychoanalytical therapist, Jung used many classical methods such as word association, dream analysis, active imagination, and analysis of transference. Word association tests in Jungian theory are used to identify complexes by “investigation of associations of chance psychological linkages.” (Samuels, Shorter, and Plaut, 1986). The experimenter reads aloud a word from a prepared list and records the amount of time that it takes for the subject to respond with the first word that comes to mind (Stevens, 1994). Dream Analysis requires the dreamer to remember and recount to their therapist who can then analyze and seek out the relationship of the dream to the patient’s conscious mind. (Corsini & Wedding, 2010) As Jung says, “Since, according to our hypothesis, the unconscious plays a causal part in the neurosis, and since dreams are the direct expression of unconscious psychic activity, the attempt to analyze and interpret dreams is entirely justified from a scientific standpoint,” (Jung, 1933, p. 2). Active imagination helps clients to uncover some of their unconscious material. The client clears their mind so that inner images may emerge and once they do the client is asked to write, draw, paint, or sometimes dance the story they just observed in their imagination (Chodorow, 2006; Douglas, 2008; Salman, 2009). Lastly, Jung would study transference, which takes place in four stages. In the first stage, the patient is completely unaware that they are projection their historical relationships and experiences onto their therapist. During the second stage, the client learns what projections are their own and which belongs to the areas of culture and archetype. The client can differentiate between the therapist’s image that the client gave to them and reality in phase three. In stage four, transference is resolved and greater self-knowledge and understanding takes root, a better connection between client and therapist is garnered, and more true evaluations occur (Corsini & Wedding, 2010).
But to what end is Jungian theory used? When is it complete? The answer is both enlightening and albeit frustrating at times since there is no quantifiable answer. The goal is called individuation. Individuation is a person becoming their whole selves. They are unique individuals distinct from others or collective psychology but are also in direct, healthy relationships with others and their society as well (Samuels, et al. 1986). As Stein says, “in its simplest formula, individuation is the capacity for wholeness and evolved consciousness,” (Hall & Nordby, 1973, p.197). Individuation happens throughout three stages that encompass all of an individual’s lifespan, childhood, adolescence, middle age, and old age. Individuation is the process of every element of one’s personality becoming integrated. It is the formation of the fully-realized self.
Eastern Practices of Tibetan Singing Bowls
According to Sudeep Lamsal, an Indian singing bowl expert and shopkeeper, the creation and use of singing bowls can be traced back to as far as 11th century B.C., but that doesn’t explain how they made their way into the west (Il-Vjaġġ it-Tajjeb!, 2015). According to Janson and de Ruiter, that a Tibetan themself sold a singing bowl to a Westerner could be mere chance. They also say that Tibetan singing bowls made their way to the West when the “hippie movement” sought out Eastern teachings (1992). It’s a possibility that Tibetan monks were forced to sell some of their most valuable property after the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1951. More than ninety percent of Tibetan monasteries and temples were destroyed during this invasion (Jansen & de Ruiter 1992). But singing bowls come from many different countries, mostly Nepal and India, but also Japan and China as well (1992, p. 36).
Traditionally, bowls were crafted from seven different metals, one metal for each planet. Each of these metals alone would produce a certain sound and harmonics but together they would create a complex singing bowl tone. Proportions of metals vary in each bowl and many modern-day singing bowls are not made with each of the seven metals, but still, function. For example, Tibetan bowls tend to have more silver than tin. (1992) But what does a singing bowl do to the mind and body? How does it work?
Sudeep Lamsal says that singing bowls help with migraines and depression. The bowls’ different pitches aid in opening different blocked chakras (Il-Vjaġġ it-Tajjeb!, 2015). The two most common ways to activate a singing bowl is to strike it with a mallet or rub the bowl around the rim with a cloth-covered mallet. This is how the term “singing bowl” came about (Jansen & de Ruiter, 1992, p. 90).
Singing bowls are used as a type of harmonic frequency calibration system. The bowls recreate an original harmonic frequency that stimulates and allows the body to attune this frequency. When the body is vibrating to the frequency of the bowl, it is synchronized and then the body can then vibrate independently and can tune to its own undisturbed frequency (1992, p. 68). Each bowl emits a large variety of frequencies (even some that are not pleasing to the Western ear). When multiple bowls are resonating together, phantom tunes can be created between two or more bowls – this is almost like hearing a third sound that was created by the two bowls in combination. This sensation can also be created by singing across the bowl. This is a process known as “toning”. One holds the bowl parallel to their mouth and sings across the bowl. The overtones that one is feeling in the body resonates with the overtones that occur in the bowl and creates a bodily sensation of the overtones within the body.
Sound massage, or sound bath, is a more physical practice in the realm of sound therapy practitioners. It is truly immersive since multiple singing bowls are involved. In a sound massage, the person receiving the message is lying down on a mat and surrounded by many singing bowls of varies sizes. Sometimes bowls will be placed on the body as well. The practitioner then plays their bowls in practiced and understood combinations. The practitioner may strike a bowl and then move the vibrating bowl around the client’s body. Messages can last anywhere from five to forty minutes but the stress of the client tends to be reduced in about 20 min. In sound massages or sound baths, it is recommended that the client breath deeply and consistently just as in meditation, a practice in which singing bowls are also used.
Singing bowls are a great jumping-off point for meditations. The sound and its overtones become the focus of one’s mind allowing for greater centering of the mind. (1992, p. 111) The vibrations of a singing bowl externally mimic what the “Om” mantra accomplishes internally in transcendental meditation(16. Anderson JW, Liu C, Kryscio RJ. Blood pressure response to transcendental meditation: a meta-analysis. Am J Hypertens. 2008;21:310–316).
It can be made from crystal as well – p. 105 Handbook. Is more etherial and deals with energies, where metals are more of a physical effect.
Compare and Contrast/Strengths and Weaknesses
These two medicines are vastly different but do share some similarities. In as much, Jungian theory needs practitioner, while Tibetan Singing bowls can use a practitioner for something like a sound bath, but can also be played by a layperson with no training for similar effects. Jung deals with the mind, the psyche, and integrating one’s entire personality towards individuation. While singing bowls deal within the spiritual realm of chakras, singing bowls are grounded in a more physical and tangible application. An example of this is direct relaxing effects that vibrations and tones of a singing bowl have on the body.
Jungian theory in the 21st Century
Ann Shearer (2018) argues that Jungian theory is valid today because it fosters the process over the results and the process is where psychological growth occurs. I believe Jungian theory to be helpful in more spiritual arenas or used in tandem with other psychological theories. But in modern Western culture where we prize productivity and quick results, I think Jungian theory is at a disadvantage. One does not “know” when they have reached individuation. This process occurs over one’s entire life. I do think that more collective societies are better at individuation than the West. We prize individualization.
But the idea of the collective unconscious rings true with me and the idea that generations of people are dealing with different but somehow the same issues since the beginning of time seems to be plausible. As Toshio Kawai points outs (2017), Jungian theory is helpful in the wake of extreme conditions, such as a natural disaster. The idea of individuation fits each person differently since it cannot be measured and so that is custom-tailored to every persons’ trauma. He also states that working with images is very effective when an individual does not have words to communicate their trauma.
Jung’s therapy and sound therapy have some similarities and some vast differences. But each is trying to attain healing on behalf of the mentally or spiritually wounded. I believe it only a matter of time until Western society finally accepts the validity of Eastern practices that have been working well for human beings for thousands of years.
- Corsini, R.J., Wedding, D. (2010) Analytical Psychotherapy. In Corsini, R.J., Wedding, D. (Ed. 9), Current Psychotherapies (pp. 113-147). Belmont, CA; Brooks/Cole, Cenegage Learning
- Hall, C.S. & Nordby, V.J. (1973). A Primer of Jungian Psychology. New York, NY; Penguin Group
- Il-Vjaġġ it-Tajjeb!, (2015). Singing Bowl Interview and Demonstration with Sudeep Lamsal [Video File] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=B4lGhVjoMTk.
- Jansen, E.R. & de Ruiter, D. (2010). Singing Bowl Handbook.Haarlem, The Netherlands; Gottmer Publishing Group BV
- Kawai, T. (2017). The Historicity and Potential of Jungain Analysis: Another View of ‘SWOT’. Journal of Analytical Psychology 62, 5, 650–657
- Samuels, A., Shorter, B., Plaut, F. (1986). A Critical Dictionary of Jungian Analysis. Great Britain. Butler & Tanner Ltd.
- Sedgwick, D. (2015). On Integrating Jungian and Other Theories. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 60, 4, 540-558
- Shearer, A. (2018). ‘Thank God I’m Not A Jungian’. Journal of Analytical Psychology 63, 3, 356–367
- St. Clair, M. (2004). Object Relations and Self Psychology. Belmont, CA; Brooks/Cole, Cenegage Learning
- Stein, M. (2010). Jung’s Map of the Soul. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/ Jungs-Map-Soul-Murray-Stein/dp/0812693760 (Original work published 1998)
- Stevens, A. (1994). Jung, a Very Short Introduction. New York, NY; Oxford University Press Inc.
Carl Jung’s Early Life and Personality
Carl Jung developed a theory like no other, named the analytical psychology theory. Jung did not agree with many of Freud’s theories, which is why he developed his own. His experiences had a lot to do with why he did not agree with Freud’s statements. Jung’s life inspired the development of his own personality theory, in which the personality had three major structures that are called the ego, personal unconscious and the collective unconscious; and Jung also noticed that there were different psychological functions of extraverted and introverted people.
Carl Jung’s childhood was not a perfect one. He was miserable many times, mostly because of his family members. His mom and dad were not perfect. Jung’s father was weak, while his mother was considered to be the stronger parent. Her emotions were not consistent, though, and it caused Jung a lot of confusion. He considered his mother as being two people because of how different one minute she would be compared to the next. He lived a very lonely childhood, and the only companionship he had was a doll that he had carved out of wood. He did not take part in the real world; in fact, he spent a lot of time in the unconscious, where he would dream and live his life in his fantasies. And the fact that he was a lonely child, it impacted his theory later on where he would talk about introversion. And another important part of his life was Sigmund Freud. They were friends for some time, but Jung broke it off because he did not feel comfortable around him. But even though they were friends, they did not share similar opinions. Freud stated that the most important part of the development of our personalities was our childhood, but Jung believed that it was actually the middle-aged years that were the most important. He believed that our future experiences also have an impact in our personalities.
Jung thought that the total personality consisted of three major structures: the ego, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. The ego is responsible for carrying out the daily activities in our lives. The personal unconscious is our own thoughts, like dreams and thoughts. The collective unconscious is a knowledge that we are all familiar with from birth. It’s a universal language that all humans understand. The ego and the personal unconscious are similar to Freud’s ego, preconscious and unconscious.
Jung learned that there were different forms of extraverts and introverts. The psychological functions was “ a function from either judging or perception pair” (Personality Type Explained). The four functions are sensing, intuiting, thinking and feeling. The non-rational functions are sensing and intuiting because they are based on how we feel and not what is rational. It is all based on our natural instinct. The rational functions are thinking and feeling. They both are based consciously. Jung also said that only one of each, of the rational and irrational function, could be dominant.
Carl Jung’s personality theory was mostly based on his life. He lived a different life compared to Sigmund Freud’s, which is why he understood how everyone was different. He believed that as we grow older, the experiences that we have later on still reflect how our personalities are as we continue growing and experiencing new things. Personalities are complex, but Jung did not live a regular life. He was an extraordinary man who lived an unordinary life.